When Jeff and I met in the early 1990s, HGTV was planning a show, “Building Character.” Anyone remember that show? Jeff and I loved the show! It inspired a dream in us to one day find a building in need of restoration, hopefully on Main Street in a small USA town, create a living space above a retail Antique Shop. It took us a few years since we had just started a family and built a home in Tennessee on Jeff’s family farm.
In early 2003, we were invited to do the second annual New Harmony Golden Raintree antiques show in New Harmony, IN and when Jeff arrived, our booth was right in front of the 1899 Firehouse that we now call home. It all started with a dream, an inspirational TV show and those who love history who have restored buildings before us. All weekend, Jeff sent me photos of the town and talked about how cool an old firehouse was where his booth was located. Two weeks after doing the Locust Grove Antique Show in Louisville, Ky, our family set out to see what Jeff had seen in this building and small town in Indiana.
I have told this story and you may have heard it before, but this time I want to use it to encourage others to find a small town, restore a building and start your own business. The hardest part of the entire process was uprooting our daughters and moving away from Jeff’s family. We had a great life in Tennessee but looking back we know now that we were meant to make this move to accomplish a dream. It’s been 15 years this September and we continue to grow and change to adapt the changing antique business. It’s been the only way to continue in this business, growing and changing. We also have so many loyal customers that have supported us over the years. I wanted to share some of the restoration process with a few photos and share that each part of the process had its struggles but it has all been worth it to have the business we have today. The people who have helped us along the way have become some of our dearest friends. We really enjoy getting to know our customers and helping them decorate their home or business. Here are some of our photos of the early days of Firehouse Antiques and the restoration of our Firehouse.